Olde GnarlyWine | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine
1,688 Ratings
Olde GnarlyWineOlde GnarlyWine

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2011: 10.6% ABV, 69 IBU

Added by Todd on 09-22-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,688 |  Reviews: 757
Photo of thatdirtymick
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of NSXAG
1.5/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Loves me a barleywine , and Lagunitas... But I wasn't vibin' with this at all...

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Photo of mwar
1.93/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Not a fan of barleywines in general. My rating reflects such.

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Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Photo of goochpunch
2.49/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2008 bottling

Pours out a still-looking red amber with a head that is here and then gone. Smell is hot alcohol up front. Underneath is a vague sweetness, cooked fruit, really toasty malts and a hint of caramel. Way too much alcohol and not enough other stuff to back it up. Taste is very syrupy-sweet at first with some toastiness from the malt. From all the grain used in this to give it such high sweetness and alcohol, you'd think they could at least give some complexity to the beer. Some citrus and pine hops come in the finish with an awkward bitterness. Hops bring more bitter than flavor to the table. Not overall disgusting, just heavy-handedly 2-dimensional (SWEET then bitter [kind of]). Mouthfeel is nice, however. Viscous, slick, and smooth. The body could be a little heftier though, I suppose. Really not drinkable. Give this a couple of years and maybe something interesting might come out of this mess.

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Photo of thomismydad
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of sliks96
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of brystmar
2.58/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On draft at the Gingerman in Austin. Served in a pint glass.

A: reddish brown with a half finger of lightish fizzy head, *excellent* retention. Insane amounts of lacing remained on my glass thru the drink.

S: very floral & hoppy with earthy tones and some malts in the backgound. Hints of fruit too.

T: hops are out in force; bitter start to finish with an aftertaste that lingers. Super hoppy beers generally aren't my thing, and this one's no exception. I can see how others might like this stuff, but it's not for me at all. Came in with an open mind, though, and really tried to see the positives here.

M: medium-bodied with LOTS of carbonation. Stings the tongue strongly as it lingers in your mouth.

D: very tough to drink with copious amounts of alcoholic bite (the term "alcoholic warmth" is hardly appropriate) as it goes down. I do like some barleywines but this one is clearly not for me. Can't even finish 1/4 of this glass.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.61/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded copper-colour pry-off pressure cap. Classic Lagunitas label design.

10.6% ABV. 1.096 O.G.

Cost was...$5.00 USD? Ah, Lagunitas.

Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are well above-average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Off-white colour. Creamy and soft-looking, with a nice even consistency. As full and thick as it should be. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

Retention is stellar - ~12+ minutes at minimum - shockingly good.

BODY: Clear copper of average vibrance. Clean, with no yeasty or hoppy muck to be seen.

Overall, it's a typical appearance for a barleywine.

AROMA: It's quite hoppy, actually...shockingly so. Pine, floral hops, light hop oils, some resins...why is this so hoppy? Must definitely be an American barleywine. All I get hopwise is some (surprisingly light) caramalt and some pale malts. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was an IPA. There's no toffee, marshmallow, graham cracker, et al.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I'm a bit taken aback. It's just plain not a barleywine aroma. Way overhopped, but appealing outside of stylistic conventions.

TASTE: Has a caramalt and pale malt backbone. And damn, is it hoppy for a barleywine. Heavy notes of pine, resin, and floral hops provide the bulk of the flavour, with hop oils a distant second. There's a bit of biscuit, but no real toffee, marshmallow, etc. The faint brown sugar is a nice touch, I guess, as is some muted citrus zest. It's actually surprisingly plain and shallow overall, with no real intricacy or subtlety to its execution. Not a gestalt beer by any means. Too bitter to be well-balanced.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I don't dislike it, but it's not on par with the quality I've come to expect from Lagunitas. Has an obvious booziness that doesn't do it any favours.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, somewhat creamy, sticky, a bit soft in the third act, overcarbonated, and full-bodied. It gets the job done, but it doesn't accentuate specific notes or elevate the beer overall. A decently executed mouthfeel for a barleywine, but not one that harmonizes with the taste to any special effect.

OVERALL: I thought $5.00 for a barleywine was a steal, but now I'm not so sure. This is overhopped to its detriment, and misses stylistic fundamentals. Drinkable for what it is, but I do wish I had a friend or three to help me finish it off. Maybe it'd get a bit better with age? Not a beer I'd revisit, but I guess for its price you could do worse. A rare miss from the cats at Lagunitas. Very pedestrian.

C- (2.61)

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Photo of CMB2012
2.71/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into 16oz stemless snifter. O.G. 1.096, A.B.V. 10.6, I.B.U. 69.39.

This brew pours a deep ruby red with a small pinky finger width head. The cap dissipates fairly slow into a very nice creamy looking bubblicious slick with some lacing.

Wow! This beer is definitely fresh, though I cannot find a bottled on date (I guess I am to assume the Two-'Aught-11 written on the bottle stands for 2011), and I know it has been aged for a month at the brewery, but it wreaks of hops! It is sweet and fruity versus piney and resiny. Reminds me of that delicious bubble gum hop scent. But wait, there is something here that turns me off, something peppery that I am not sure is supposed to be there. It could be alcohol, but somehow I don't think so. The more intense my whiff, the more intense the smell. There is something very wrong, it smells like salted or cured ham. It could be that onion smell everyone complains about in Oskar Blues' Gubna. I can't smell anything else after noticing this, it is a big turn off.

The taste, is significantly better. Big sweet malt up front with some dark and dried fruit notes - plum/prune, sugary dates, and some fig too. It all ends with a peppery alcohol burn that mellows out into a sweet malt linger. I can taste the onion as well in this pepper aspect.

The moutfeel is spot on for the style. Full bodied, slightly sticky, smooth, with little carbonation.

This beer is a big disappointment for me. I love barley wines and I usually like Lagunitas. However, this beer is a tough one to finish. I'll admit it may be psychological at this point, but I cannot get that onion/cured meat smell from bothering me. I don't know if I got a bad bottle/batch, but I wish there was a batch number I could give to prevent others from experiencing this if that is the case. I would like to try this again to double check, and at 4.49 a bottle I think I will.

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Photo of wigoalie1
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Chicharito14
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Acoma
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of sinistersteve
2.81/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, Lagunitas finally did it. They made a so-so beer. I tried this barley wine one night at the pub with some friends of mine and we couldn't even finish the entire pitcher.
Upon the initial presentation of our pitcher I thought for certain we would be blessed that would live up to its name. The appearance was normal enough. Dark and non-transloucent like what it's supposed to be The sweet aroma was interestingly enough, but the scent of a strong, butt-whooping barley wine wasn't there.The flavor also lacked that over abundance of hops and/or malt that is so typical of beers of this genre. In the end, this beer was way too sweet for our bitter tastes.

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Photo of DIM
2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2010 version

a: This was a hazy cherry tinted copper color. It poured with a medium sized, lightly sticky cap.

s: On the sweet side for sure. I found vanilla, toffee, and something I want to call graham crackers. Even at less than a year old I couldn't find much in the way of hops.

t: This was too sweet for my taste, it was pretty sugary actually. I mean plain white table sugar. I also found maple syrup and fruit cocktail in syrup. The finish was an overdone toffee with a lingering bitter tingle.

m: Big bodied and syrupy with gentle carbonation.

d: For an American barleywine not even a year old this was awfully sweet. Cloyingly sweet, I had a hard time finishing it. Where the hell are the hops? On the positives side, the alcohol was well masked.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2011 vintage.

Appearance -- Pours a cherry-tinted amber with a slim creamy beige head that dissipates into a fine fog.

Smell -- Juicy citrus, toffee, toasted malt, peaches and plums, dank hops, and a modicum of leafy hops. Overall: sticky sweet and lacking in complexity.

Taste -- Dank and citrusy hops, macerated plums and peaches, caramel, leafy vegetal bitterness. Much like the nose, There doesn't seem to be much depth. It tastes like all of the thought was put into the hopping, which reminds one of EVERY other Lagunitas offering. In dire need of malt complexity.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with mild carbonation. Dangerously close to syrupy. More depth in the malt department could have made this forgivable (see: Angel's Share).

Drinkability -- This one just didn't come together for me. Fruity sweetness and citrus hop aroma meets dank basement and leafy vegetables. Where's the rich malt complexity? It really just comes off as a malty DIPA, but what do I know? I still don't like Old Guardian.

Your mileage may vary.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 4/9/2009 (Draft at Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a strong red color body. Small off-white body, diminishing. Raisin and fig, sickly sweet aroma. This is a barley wine. Sickly sweet taste. Alcohol, sticky sweetness. Strong grape taste. Some roasted notes but mostly sweet. Too much. This needs to age for a long while more, have the sweetness go down.

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Photo of Fargrow
2.89/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An unnecessary amount of hops in this barleywine. But instead of turning it into a DIPA, Lagunitas managed to make this kind of a mess. Maybe I didn't like these particular hops, or the combination of malt & hops. But this was not very good.

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Photo of Docer
2.91/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed a bomber from Fred Meyer... 11.0% Alc. Limited Release..

-Dark red and brown... rather clear and hardly any head as I poured at a 45 deg. angle into a tumbler glass.... mild lacing.. scattered bubbles..

- Smelled it from many feet away... very sweet and earthy smell... bit of alcohol... almost smells like a ham sandwich...

- Wow... way too sweet.. chewy caramel malt madness.. bit of alcohol and a floral hop backbone... but not impressed with this one... may pour it out...

- Sweet chewy aftertaste... earthy.. bit warm and mouthwashy..

- Not very drinkable simply because of the flavor... I'm sure someone out there likes this... but it aint me! Otherwise smooth...

Not at all impressed with this... I'm gonna have to pop open my Full Sail Old Boardhead to gather my Barley Marbles...

Perhaps this is one to age for about 5 years... not gonna buy another one to even try.

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Photo of 2ellas
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

I've never met a barleywine that I liked and this is no exception

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.97/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Aught Six vintage - brand new)

Pours a heavy, syrupy, very clear ruby amber, capped with a very thin lil' tannish head and besmirched with a few bubbles struggling to rise through the thick liquid. The thin, bubbly head leaves a few spotty bits of lace as I drink.

The scent is rich and very sweet - an American maltiness that only a barleywine can produce. There's tons of malts going into this brew, and it shows. Toffee is dominant, and all of those other scents are in there too - a little caramel, a little butterscotch. Some grassy hop and pungent alcohol is noticeable.

The flavor is almost cloyingly sweet, with just enough hop to balance. As a matter of fact, the hops are very bitter, more bitter than flavorful - something I noticed with the Maximus IPA - hopheads of a different bend than I might like them more. Lots of toffee and caramel in the flavor, with a distinct fusel alcohol and a grassy, bitter hoppiness - swallowing is surprising, giving me a huge hit of way overpowering diacetyl sweetness and alcohol combined. I can drink it and don't find it unpleasant, so it gets just under average score. Aging is definitely required for this one.

A syrupy mouthfeel feels almost hot on the tongue with alcohol - it's not dry at all, mind you, but you know the abv is there. It gets everything tingling really pleasantly, and the finish is sticky.

I can drink it now - but I'd rather drink it later. GnarlyWine isn't a very highly hopped American BW, rather intensely sweet and alcoholic.

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Photo of dsauter
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of leprakhan
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Segnem5
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Flavorful. Nice for kicking back and relaxing.

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Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -26.3%

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Olde GnarlyWine from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,688 ratings